The Livingston Tomato Report 2016: The Philosophical Environmentalist?s Guide To Justice In The Global Food System
Livingston, Neil Marcellus
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This research paper sets the groundwork for an explanation of the global food system using complexity science as the theoretical framework to recount the story of the tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), its origin (Solanum pimpinellifolium), its role in popular culture how the tomato enters and exits the global food system and our digestive systems. By arguing in defense of the right of every person to eat a healthy tomato this study focuses upon the benefits and risks of herbicides, specifically N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine. I approach solutions from an environmental justice standpoint. I focus on the role of access to information as a leverage point. Methodologically, a detailed media survey led to the creation of a database that produced a timeline. Critical analysis of this timeline, actors and institutions allowed for focus on specific touchstones by which to ground my account. A review of the literature including environmental novels frames this timeline starting in the mid-to late 1800’s, through the age of industrialization incorporating the aftermath of Breton-Woods to 1971, Nixon, the Club of Rome, the year of my birth and Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. The next pivotal time is my coming of age working as an agent for CIDA in the rain forest of Guyana, The Rio Summit, and my reading of the Brundtland Commission Report, “Our Common Future” in 1992. This brings us to the present day of 2016 where the world's agriculture, chemical, and pesticide and pharmaceutical companies can be counted on one hand plus a finger. 2050 is a touchstone for a future that is just around the corner in historical scale. Influential authors and thinkers include Swift, Malthus, Thoreau, Geisel, Georgescu-Roegen, Carson, Meadows, Holling, Daly, Brundtland, and Atwood taking us into possible futures. This paper’s interest in neo-liberalism is rooted in deep-satire. This paper is completed with the philosophy of Plato allowing for further exploration of theories of Justice and Human Rights as they relate to everyone’s access to fresh healthy food.